A week of strong northeast winds propelled 54 sailboats in the 20th Anniversary Caribbean 1500 fleet from Hampton VA to Tortola, BVI. In as few as six days, the boats hugged the rhumb line and sailed on a single port tack for the entire passage.
Bojangles IV, a Gulfstar 50 Ketch, owned by the Kilgour family from Toronto, Canada, took Overall Handicap Honors. The Kilgours were one of eight family boats with children that participated in this year’s rally.
First to finish was Crazy Horse, a Sundeer 60 owned by Bill and Rosemary Thomas of Middletown MD, who completed the passage in 6 days 9 hours and 15 minutes.
The Caribbean 1500 Rally left Hampton VA on November 2 after a week of preparatory briefings, safety inspections, and gala social events. The fleet arrived in Tortola six to10 days later with many veteran skippers recording "personal best" passage times.
"It was great to welcome the Caribbean 1500 fleet to Nanny Cay for the first time, particularly for the 20th anniversary of the event," said Miles Sutherland-Pilch, general manager of Nanny Cay. "We’ll be seeing off the return rally, the Atlantic Cup, on May 2 from here."
The 2009 fleet included participants from 23 states, three Canadian provinces, Germany, the UK and New Zealand. The boats averaged 47.5 feet in length. Four multihulls and a schooner joined the fleet of sloops and several ketches in this year’s fleet. www.carib1500.com.